Dear Lily,

It has been far too long since I’ve written you a letter. I think about it almost everyday, I do, ,but I get overwhelmed by what I want to say.

But tonight, on the eve of your 6th birthday, I’m motivated and inspired. You’re my muse.
As I type, I’m crafting Avenger themed trinkets for your party. People often compliment me on my party planning skills, some even say I go overboard. The thing is, I love it. I love doing this for you because in a few years, you won’t want me to do this anymore. You will be busy with your friends at the mall, or going to a school function, or blowing off our dinner plans to see a boyfriend (or girlfriend). That’s ok, love. That’s what those  years should look like for you but as a mom, that will be a tough pill to swallow.

So, I plan parties. It’s my thing.

And you? You are growing up. You’re maturing. You’re not a baby anymore.

Today, on the way to school, we talked about what the age of 5 was like for you. I asked you to tell me some things that happened in this past year. You said:

“Wellllll, hmm. We went to that hotel with the lazy river with Nana and Bop Bop, we went to the Dominican Republic and had so.much.fun., we dressed up like Ninja Turtles for Halloween, we built a new house and had a pool in our rental house which I miss but that’s ALL I miss, Santa made a winter land special for me since we just moved here to our new house, aaaaaand we went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure”.

Isn’t that amazing? Those are the things you thought of. On your own. And you know why I think it’s amazing? Because this was by far the most challenging year of your little life, and even my big life,…and you don’t even know it… or better yet, you don’t even view it that way. You don’t even see all that has happened as hardships. It’s all just life to you. There’s no negatives in your world, (except when I say no to another treat or say no to yet another toy at Target). And I’m ever so thankful that you’ve taught me that important lesson. All of these things that have happened over the past year, they’re just that: things. We’ve rallied and gotten through some tough things together, me and you with Nana and Bop Bop. Is life different? Absolutely, and you recognize that. But you accept it like a champ.

So, here we are, at the end of age 5. You don’t say words with extra syllables anymore such as “commercianal” instead of “commercial” or “digustating” instead of “disgusting”. You don’t depend on me for every little thing anymore. You don’t need to sleep with purple baby quite as much. You don’t want to watch Nick Jr. anymore and Scooby Doo is so last year.

You’re almost done with kindergarten, you’re reading, your best friend, Ty, just  moved in seven houses down, you know the difference between fiction and non-fiction, you tell me I’m being ridiculous, you help around the house, you swim for hours on end, you don’t like babies, you’re following Lego directions, you get your own food (well, snacks and drinks anyway), you don’t like playing organized sports much, you love watching FSU football with me, you ask such intelligent questions, you’re sensitive to others feelings, you’re tolerant of dogs for me, you love Mario Kart, you watch more grown up shows like Sam and Cat or Full House (yes, the show from my era!) and you’ll do just about anything for sugar.

You’re amazing. That’s the nutshell.

So, happy birthday, love of mine. Thank you for being so wonderful, so kind, so patient, so resilient. Thank you for being so unique and inspiring. Mama loves you more than you know. Tomorrow, I won’t wake up with you, a result of the many changes of our life, but know that I’m dreaming of you tonight and I will be seeing you, my 6 year old, at your lunch table tomorrow with cupcakes in hand.

I love you.

Love,

Your mom.

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